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Are LED panels suitable for product shooting?
  
 
atwl77
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Are LED panels suitable for product shooting?


I saw a couple of Metz LED panels at the store this weekend, so I asked to have a look at them, thinking they might be useful as continuous lighting for small products like action figures, cameras, lenses, etc.

I tested the mecalight LED-320 model, seemed nice, small and cheap, runs on 4x AAA batteries, and comes with magnetic panels for different colour temperatures.

One issue that I noticed though -- they cast a "stepped" shadow effect. The closer the panel is to the object, the more obvious it is although the effect is still there when I try moving the light further away. Note that this is with the magnetic diffusion panel attached.

Because of this, I declined to purchase the panels.

So, do all LED panels behave this way?



Dec 09, 2013 at 02:41 AM
PhotoDes
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Are LED panels suitable for product shooting?


I assume you are seeing the effect of the multiple LED sources which, in my experience, is not eliminated with the attached diffuser. One way to mitigate the problem is to use a separate diffuser placed a foot or so away from the LED panel. Or you can move the LED panel farther from your subject, so that it becomes more like a point source. Either way, the intensity of the light will be reduced.


Dec 09, 2013 at 04:09 PM
cwebster
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Are LED panels suitable for product shooting?


What are your requirements for those photos, Ebay? Printed catalogs? Etsy? An on-line catalog?

If you are just looking for OK photos for Ebay / Etsy and aren't too concerned with color accuracy, then those LED lights might come close. But because they are not controllable, and need additional diffusion (i.e., dimming) to get rid of the shadow pattern, they aren't going to provide acceptable results for professional purposes.

For Ebay / Etsy photos, almost any light source can be used. For printed or on-line catalogs, you need better control of intensity and color balance.

<Chas>



Dec 09, 2013 at 11:01 PM
atwl77
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Are LED panels suitable for product shooting?


Thanks PhotoDes, Chas. It looks like these cheap panels are a no-go, I just thought they'd be cheap and convenient for experimenting and fooling around.

The panel, even at maximum intensity, only gave 2 stops advantage over the store's ambient lighting at close distances, moving further away than 2-3 feet and they're equal to the ambient light, so an additional diffusion panel is definitely not practical.

I guess the only advantage they have is that they are cheap, compact video camcorders may find them useful, and these Metz models allow you to link up multiple panels to form a bigger one.



Dec 10, 2013 at 01:35 AM





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